Relay Ventures has brought on board Horace Dediu, a micromobility expert, as a partner and chief market strategist.
In his new role, Dediu will be responsible for Relay’s mobility trends research, which informs the company’s investment thesis, supporting Relay’s network of mobility corporate partners, and working with portfolio companies on strategy.
As a partner in the firm, Dediu will also be involved in “sourcing, investing, supporting, and eventually exiting investments,” according to Relay.
Dediu is described as a business analyst and leading expert on the mobile industry, who recently shifted his attention from mobile phones to smart transportation.
“He coined the term micromobility and is actively shaping how this concept will revolutionize urban transport with the next two decades,” according to Relay.
Global consultant McKinsey & Company says micromobility encompasses a range of lightweight vehicles such as bicycles, e-scooters, and mopeds.
Dediu is the co-founder of Micromobility Industries, and host of Micromobility America, an annual conference that brings together builders, investors, policymakers, and thinkers to discuss the latest transformations in transportation.
Micromobiity Industries offers webinars on the micromobility industry, and organizes the Micromobility America conference.
“Horace is a visionary with an innate ability to predict seismic shifts in technology, first in the mobile sector and now with micromobility,” said Kevin Talbot, managing partner at Relay Ventures. “He will play an invaluable role on our team as we continue to support entrepreneurs who are using technology to make an impact across three key vertical markets, including mobility, proptech, and fintech.”
Dediu was previously Senior Fellow at The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, where he devoted time to teaching and researching the impact of technology on the disruption of sectors.
Dediu received his MBA from Harvard Business School and has a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
In its report on micromobility trends, McKinsey and Company noted that the global pandemic has transformed the way people think about travel, including micromobility.
“The short-term consequences have been profound, with micromobility declining as people reassess their transportation options,” according to the report. “However, given current consumer sentiment, policy actions, and the potential for upside, we expect the industry to emerge stronger from this crisis.”
Relay focuses on investments in mobility, FinTech, Proptech, and sportstech. The company has $600 million in assets under management, currently represents more than 90 firms, and has seen over 40 exits.
Some of the firms its invested in include electric scooter rental service, Bird; connected car startup Mojio; smart thermostat firm ecobee; and Swift Medical, which has a wound care platform.
In July, Relay shuffled a number of people within the company. The firm promoted Alex Baker and Irfhan Rawji to managing partners, promoted Samir Remtulla to vice president, and Chevonaé Walcott and Simon Sokol to associates. Relay also added Stephanie Wood as an associate.
The moves came as former partner Jake Cassaday shifted to venture partner, after joining Relay portfolio company Playmaker as COO.